I’ve had some time off work after a busy couple of weeks, and yesterday I took advantage of the sunshine and a day of freedom to get out on my bike again and explore. I cycled a well-worn path to begin with, seeing some of my favourite spots looking fresh and green in the February sunshine. Legs stretched, and fully awake now, I then ventured out on an unfamiliar road, with water in my bag, snacks for the journey and a growing curiosity to encounter something new.
Part of the joy of cycling is being able to enjoy the scenery around you with the thrill of pushing yourself along at speed – the faster, the better, usually! It takes something significant to break into the combined delight of surroundings in motion. Yesterday, I felt myself torn in two – the love of flying alongside flickering hedgerows that don’t quite stop the sunlight, hurtling along with the curve of the road, wind rushing and making you feel like you’re going ten times faster than you are, pitted against the love of peering into ramshackle barns with warm red walls and paint-flaking wooden doors, or splodging through muddy puddles (in new wellies!) to get to the pyramids of hay bales, where all sorts of treasures might be discovered. I found myself stopping, even turning around to take a second look, more times than I anticipated. My favourite discovery of the day was a field full of rusting, weather-beaten farm equipment – colourful, old, abandoned and beautiful. I propped my bike up against the verge and, hesitantly at first, walked along the bank, scouting the surrounding fields for signs of people, drivers, or farmers who might be likely to chase me off their property. No one to be seen. I hopped down into the field, and edged towards the biggest piece of machinery – it looked like a giant cotton reel. Blue as the sky, it was covered in cobwebs and patches of rust, and thorns had begun to entwine themselves to it’s base, anchoring it to this very ground. I snapped some pictures, keen to capture the light and colour.
I slowly made my way round the decorative debris, not sure what I was looking at, but content to observe. More photographs. Clouds in the distance made me think of my bike again, and a desire to get back on the road.
Later, after home had furnished me with a cool drink and a comfortable seat, I switched on the computer and loaded my photographs, keen to relive the journey again. This photograph (above) surprised me the most. I hadn’t remembered taking it particularly. It was one of my less-intentional shots, but describes the scene in the field as I remember it. I thought I’d share it so that though you didn’t come on that bike ride with me, you can see what I saw, and enjoy it too.